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Not egregious to return man to Northern Ireland to serve sentence of life imprisonment

By: James Cross BL

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High Court, on foot of a European Arrest Warrant, orders the surrender of man (who absconded while on temporary release) to Northern Ireland to serve a life sentence of imprisonment for murder, on the grounds that it was not egregious to return the respondent to serve his sentence.

European arrest warrant – authorities in the UK seeking surrender of man to Northern Ireland to serve a sentence of life imprisonment in respect of an offence of murder - respondent was a juvenile at the time of his conviction for the murder of a 74 year old woman in her own home – absconded whilst on temporary release licence – lived in this state under an assumed name – made complaint to Gardaí using real name – refused to surrender – warrant issued - points of objection - no longer any causal link between his detention on this sentence and his original detention for the offence of murder - egregious to surrender him in light of the lack of evidence that he was a real risk to the public - claimed his lengthy residence in this jurisdiction demonstrated that he was capable of living within the community and furthermore that he had served such a lengthy time of imprisonment in the UK without any indication that he would commit an offence of violence in the future - absence of safeguards pertaining to the respondent’s release from custody - lack of rehabilitative services – in fact he was granted regular reviews on a more frequent basis than he recollected – alleged lack of clarity - respondent’s affidavit - respondent’s affidavit of laws - further information from the issuing State – further affidavits - whether Irish sentencing principles would as a matter of constitutional necessity prohibit any aspect of preventative detention - his surrender for the purpose of his continued detention on his preventative indefinite sentence in the issuing state will amount to a breach of his ECHR rights and his constitutional rights - preventative detention in the context of life sentences is not of itself a ground for holding that such detention is incompatible with our Constitution or would amount to a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights – life sentences – sentence was reducible de jure and de facto - only be where an egregious breach of a constitutional right has been demonstrated that the Court would refuse surrender – submissions amount to an invitation to this Court to adjudicate upon both the legality of the parole board’s previous decisions and the factual basis for those conclusions - cannot be egregious as a matter of law to require a person who has absconded while serving a life sentence to return to the issuing state where they will have the full panoply of their ECHR rights available to them - prima facie breach of his fundamental rights - absence of records on the 2003 parole hearing - no causal link between any perceived lack of access to rehabilitation courses and his continued detention – respondent’s conduct - satisfied from all the facts that the respondent has not demonstrated that his detention is no longer necessary for the protection of the public – not egregious to return the respondent to serve his sentence of life imprisonment – Brexit – surrender ordered.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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